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Cebu City’s Center for Women and Children now in NOAH

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | November 02,2021 - 07:01 PM


The NOAH isolation facility at the South Road Properties. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Center for Women and Children has been temporarily transferred to the New Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH).

This after the facility that was previously known as Sta. Rita’s Center for Women and Children in Barangay Banilad will be closed upon the decision of the City Council due to the expensive rent at P350,000 per month.

Initially, the City Council has decided to transfer all clients of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) halfway house to the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD).

They even authorized Acting Mayor Michael Rama to write a letter to DSWD to facilitate the transfer of at least 33 women and children of various ages staying there.

READ: Cebu City DSWS appeal: Don’t close Sta. Rita Center

Fortunately, the NOAH dormitories at the SRP freed up as it is no longer being used as an isolation center for COVID-19 patients, but is now a vaccination site.

DSWS head, Portia Basmayor, told CDN Digital that through Acting Vice Mayor Donaldo Hontiveros, who oversees the NOAH operations, they were able to transfer the 36 clients.

“Niprovide sila sa dormitories sa NOAH considering nga okay raman gyod nga ibalhin sila sa DSWD pero mabag-ohan nya ang mga bata, mabuwang ang mga siblings,” said Basmayor.

The NOAH dormitories are free as well, costing the city no rent, and only the food of the sheltered women and children is at the expense of the city.

The facility has 32 rooms and at least two individuals can stay in each room, a much more comfortable space than the previous facility.

Mothers and their babies, and siblings can also stay in the same room, which means no separation will occur for them, something that many of the sheltered individuals feared.

“Wala na gyod sila nabuwag. Ngadto sa dormitory, usa ka victim, usa ka minor usa pud ka room. Gawas kung sibling sila, mag-usa pud silag room,” said Basmayor.

The DSWS head said the facility is a perfect temporary shelter for abused women and children as it is quite secluded and far from the city center.

Yet most importantly, the anxiety of being transferred to a whole new facility has been taken away from these children and individuals as they will continue to stay with the people they already know.

For now, the DSWS plans to keep the center in NOAH until the city government can build a new site.

Basmayor said they will be pushing that a center be built for women and children as it is necessary that a highly urbanized city should have a shelter for its troubled residents who need as much help.

The primary proposal of DSWS is refurbishing its office at Barangay Labangon to become a center as the building was donated by the DSWD for such purpose.

The DSWS head said that for now, they will settle the clients down in NOAH, and then they will lobby for a new facility during the 2022 annual budget hearing in the City Council.  /rcg

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TAGS: Acting Mayor Michael Rama, Cebu City, DSWD, DSWS, Noah

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